If a employee has worked for the company for a minimum of 26 weeks and are the parent or carer of a child who is under 17 or under 18 and disabled then they have the right to request flexible working hours if they are responsible for the child on a daily basis. If the employee is caring for an adult rather than a child they also have the right to ask for flexible hours.
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 the employee has the right to put in a request to their employer to work flexibly in writing which the employer must seriously consider the request. Flexible working can include working from home, shift working, staggering hours, compressing hours or job sharing.
Although there is no automatic right to working flexibly the employer must give a good business reason in writing if they decide not to give flexible working hours. If the reasoning behind the refusal of flexible working is not a good business reason then there could be a possible issue of indirect sex discrimination, the majority of child carers are women.
An employee can make one flexible working hours request per year which must include how the change in the employee’s working pattern will work in practice and how it will affect the business. Remember this request must be made in writing.
An employee does have the right to appeal the decision and this must also be done in writing but within 14 days of receiving the first decision and must detail why the employee is appealing and should be dated. If this appeal is the rejected then it may be possible to complain to the employment tribunal in specific circumstances; usually if the correct procedure has not been followed, or attempt to sort your dispute using arbitration.
Remember there are strict time limits in place if a complaint needs to be made to the employment tribunal and they may not be able to over-turn the decision of the employer but instead may be able to force the employer to award damages or reconsider the decision.
Andrew is a Commercial & Employment Law solicitor in Leicester. Our Solicitors in Leicester are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.Talk to our legal team
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